The Anonymous Widower

Rolls-Royce To Develop mtu Hydrogen Electrolyser And Invest In Hoeller Electrolyser

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the three main points in the press release.

  • Holdings in start-up companies in northern Germany secure Rolls-Royce Power Systems access to key green hydrogen production technology.
  • Electrolysis systems for several megawatts of power.
  • First demonstrator in 2023 using a Hoeller stack.

This is the introductory paragraph to the deal.

Rolls-Royce is entering the hydrogen production market and acquiring a 54% majority stake in electrolysis stack specialist Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division. Hoeller Electrolyzer, based in Wismar, Germany, is an early-stage technology company that is developing highly efficient polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) stacks, under the brand name Prometheus, for the cost-effective production of hydrogen.

This page on the Hoeller Electrolysis web site gives details of Prometheus.

  • Hoeller are planning small, medium and large electrolyser modules, the largest of which is rated at 1.4 MW.
  • Load changes of between 0 and 100 % within seconds.
  • Cold start capability.
  • It will produce 635 Kg/day.
  • They are talking of a cost of 4€/Kg.

It all sounds good to me.

This paragraph is from the press release.

Founded in 2016, Hoeller Electrolyzer has positioned itself, with Prometheus, as one of the few highly specialized expert players in the field of high-efficiency PEM electrolysis stacks. Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus. Particularly high efficiency is promised by special surface technologies for the bipolar plates which significantly reduce the use of expensive precious metals platinum and iridium as catalysts, as well as increased output pressure.

I know a small amount about electrolysis and feel that Rolls-Royce may have got themselves a high-class deal.

Rolls-Royce’s large German presence in companies like mtu, will also help to smooth any doubts about the deal.

This paragraph indicates a shared belief.

Rolls-Royce and Hoeller Electrolyzer are united by a shared belief in the opportunity of zero-carbon energy – both for power supply and the propulsion of heavy vehicles. With decades of experience and systems expertise, Rolls-Royce is going to develop a complete electrolyzer system and has a global sales and service network, which opens up the potential for significant worldwide sales.

But perhaps, this is the most significant paragraph of the press release.

Armin Fürderer, who heads up the Net Zero Solutions business unit of Power Systems, said: “We’re going to launch electrolyzers with several megawatts of power right from the start. A total output of over 100 megawatts is conceivable by combining several electrolyzers.”

A quick search of the Internet, indicates that 100 MW is the size of the world’s largest electrolysers.

Applications

I can see applications for these large electrolysers.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems

This is a sentence from the press release.

Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division.

The Rolls-Royce Power Systems web site, has this mission statement.

The Power Systems Business Unit of Rolls-Royce is focused on creating sustainable, climate neutral solutions for drive, propulsion and power generation.

In Rolls-Royce Makes Duisburg Container Terminal Climate Neutral With MTU Hydrogen Technology, I describe one of Rolls-Royce Power Systems projects.

The title of this post, is the same as this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This is the first sentence.

Rolls-Royce will ensure a climate-neutral energy supply at the container terminal currently under construction at the Port of Duisburg, Germany.

There is also this Rolls-Royce graphic, which shows the energy sources.

It would appear batteries,  combined heap and power (CHP), grid electricity, hydrogen electrolyser, hydrogen storage and renewable electricity are being brought together to create a climate-neutral energy system.

Note.

  1. The system uses a large hydrogen electrolyser.
  2. I suspect the hydrogen will be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  3. Hydrogen will probably power the container handling machines, ships, trucks, vehicles and other equipment in the port.

Hydrogen appears to be used as a means of storing energy and also for providing motive power.

I would suspect, the ultimate aim is that the port will not emit any carbon dioxide.

Other ports like Felixstowe and Holyhead seem to be going the hydrogen route.

Refuelling Hydrogen Buses and Charging Electric Buses

If you look at the Duisburg system, I can imagine a similar smaller system being used to refuel hydrogen buses and charge electric ones.

  • The hydrogen electrolyser would be sized to create enough hydrogen for a day or so’s work.
  • Hydrogen would be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  • If an operator bought more buses, I’m certain that the architecture of the electrolyser would allow expansion.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells would boost the electricity supply, when lots of buses needed to be charged.
  • Any spare hydrogen could be sold to those who have hydrogen-powered vehicles.
  • Any spare electricity could be sold back to the grid.

It should be noted that manufacturers like Wrightbus have developed a range of hydrogen and electric buses that use the same components. So will we see more mixed fleets of buses, where the best bus is assigned to each route?

I have used buses as an example, but the concept would apply to fleets of cars, trucks and vans.

Green Hydrogen

Large efficient electrolysers will surely be the key to producing large quantities of green hydrogen in the future.

It appears that about 55 MWh is needed to produce a tonne of green hydrogen using existing electrolysers.

The Hoeller electrolyser appears to be about 53 MWh, so it is more efficient.

Green Hydrogen From An Onshore Wind Farm

If you look at the average size of an onshore wind farm in the UK, a quick estimate gives a figure of 62 MW. I shouldn’t expect the figure for much of the world is very different, where you ignore the gigafarms, as these will distort the numbers.

An appropriately-sized electrolyser could be added to onshore wind farms to provide a local source of hydrogen for transport, an industrial process or a domestic gas supply for a new housing estate.

A single 5 MW wind turbine with a capacity factor of around 30 % would produce around 680 Kg of green hydrogen per day.

Green Hydrogen From An Offshore Wind Farm

There are basic methods to do this.

Put the electrolyser onshore or put the electrolyser offshore and pipe the hydrogen to the shore.

I think we will see some innovative configurations.

In ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm, I described how Magnora ASA are developing the ScotWind N3 wind farm.

The floating turbines surround a concrete floater, which in the future could contain an electrolyser and tankage for hydrogen.

The ScotWind N3 wind farm is designed to be a wind farm rated at 500 MW.

I can see an electrolyser on the floater, of an optimal size to make sure all electricity is used.

Pink Hydrogen

Pink hydrogen, is zero-carbon hydrogen produced using nuclear-generated electricity.

There are industrial processes, like the making of zero-carbon chemicals, concrete and steel, that will require large quantities of zero-carbon green or pink hydrogen.

Rolls-Royce are developing the Rolls-Royce SMR, which will be a 470 MW small modular nuclear reactor.

One of these placed near to a steel works and coupled to one or more 100 MW electrolysers could provide enough zero-carbon electricity and hydrogen to produce large quantities of zero-carbon green steel.

Manufacturing

Rolls-Royce and their subsidiaries like mtu, seem to be extensive users of advanced manufacturing techniques and I would expect that they can improve Hoeller’s manufacturing.

Research And Development

The press release says this about the founder of Hoeller.

Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus.

If Rolls-Royce can develop and support Stefan Höller and his team, development could easily go to a higher level.

Conclusion

I think that Rolls-Royce have taken over a company, that will in the end, will design excellent efficient electrolysers.

 

 

 

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nuclear-Enabled Hydrogen – How It Helps To Reach Net Zero

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Power Engineering.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Nuclear enabled hydrogen is zero carbon, has low cost energy input, is large scale and offers co-location synergy and energy system connectivity.

With the revival of interest in nuclear energy, interest is growing in the potential for nuclear-enabled hydrogen, otherwise sometimes known as ‘pink’ hydrogen, to meet the anticipated demand for hydrogen at scale.

The article is certainly a must-read.

Topics covered include.

  • Co-location of pink hydrogen production with industrial clusters, where heat can also be provided.
  • The production of hydrogen on a large scale.
  • The use of high temperature electrolysis, using steam from the nuclear plant.

I particularly like the idea of combining a small modular nuclear reactor with high temperature electrolysis to generate hydrogen for local industry like a steelworks or chemical plant.

June 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Startup Promises Green Steel By 2025 As Decarbonisation Race Heats Up

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This is the first paragraph.

A new player has emerged in the developing field of zero-emissions steel making, promising to deliver commercial quantities of green steel by 2025 without using hydrogen.

It sounds too good to be true.

But.

  • The process uses electricity, which of course can be renewable.
  • The process comes from research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • The process doesn’t use hydrogen, coal or even a blast furnace.
  • Electricity is used to turn iron ore into liquified metal.
  • It is based on a technique called Molten Oxide Electrolysis (MOE), which is used in aluminium refining.

A American startup called Boston Metal is developing the technology.

If it can be made to work, it is truly game-changing technology.

Any area in the world, with large amounts of renewable energy, (Think Scunthorpe and Teesside) can transform their steelmaking to zero-carbon in a few years.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Complex Web At Sunderland

This article on the BBC is entitled Nissan Announces Major UK Electric Car Expansion.

This is the first few paragraphs.

Nissan has announced a major expansion of electric vehicle production at its car plant in Sunderland which will create 1,650 new jobs.

The Japanese carmaker will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site as part of a £1bn investment that will also support thousands of jobs in the supply chain.

And Nissan’s partner, Envision AESC, will build an electric battery plant.

I think there is more to this than meets the eye!

We wait several years for a battery gigafactory to come along and then two come along in a month or two; Blyth and Sunderland. On television today, a BBC reporter talked of eight possible battery gigafactories in the UK.

Lithium Supply

Where do they all think the lithium will come from, as some say there’s a world-wide shortage?

The only explanation, is that the UK government and the gigafactory owners have bought into a secure source of lithium, that is convenient for or easily transported to the North-East.

I am very suspicious that Cornish Lithium or British Lithium have found something bigger than anybody expected.

The numbers don’t add up otherwise!

Lithium Refining

On the other hand, it appears that lithium needs a lot of electricity to extract the metal from the ores, as electrolysis is used.

But with all the windpower being developed off the North-East Coast, there could be more than enough to refine the lithium.

Remember too, that lithium has applications in defence and aerospace applications, when alloyed with magnesium and aluminium.

So could a substantial lithium refining capability be built in the North-East?

The Chinese View

In The Times, Lei Zhang, who is chief executive of Envision also said he liked our masses of offshore wind power, so perhaps the Chinese want to produce green batteries in Sunderland after refining the lithium in the North-East?

Conclusion

We probably need battery-electric cars built from green steel, fitted with green batteries and charged with green electricity.

Is the Gigawatts of offshore wind electricity in the North-East luring the battery and car makes to the area.

Could we also see green steel manufacturing on Teesside?

 

July 1, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

BECCS Beats Hydrogen For Decarbonizing Steel In Europe: ArcelorMittal

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on S & P Global Platts.

This is the first paragraph.

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) offers a more cost-effective, readily available solution for decarbonizing the steel industry in Europe than clean hydrogen, steel producer ArcelorMittal’s head of strategy David Clarke said May 17.

So what do they mean by bioenergy?

To make iron from iron ore, you need a reducing agent like carbon or hydrogen.

Iron ore is rich in oxides of iron.

The carbon is usually some form of coal, which produces large amounts of carbon dioxide with the oxygen from the iron oxides.

Hydrogen produces lots of water with the oxygen.

David Clarke of ArcelorMittal explains the process in the article.

“We know biomass worked as a replacement for coal,” he said. “We’ve been using it in our operations in Brazil and other places for many, many years. We have a project in Belgium that we’ll be starting up next year using waste wood, using that to make bio-coal,” with a project to take the emissions from the bio-coal to produce bioethanol.

Is this a case of Back-To-The-Future? If I remember my history, didn’t Iron Age men use charcoal to smelt iron and other metal ores?

If those scientists from Velocys can make Sustainable Aviation Fuel and biodiesel from household waste and used disposable nappies, can they apply their magic to make bio-coal?

I see great cost advantages with this process, as surely it would enable existing blast furnaces to be used, provided they were fitted with carbon capture and storage.

May 17, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Orsted In Gigawatt-Scale Offshore Wind To Green Hydrogen Plan With Steel Giant ArcelorMittal

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Recharge.

The title says a lot and at the heart of the plan is a 1 GW electrolyser.

Now that is enormous.

Will it be made in Rotherham by ITM Power?

The article is a must read.

April 1, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fossil-​Free Steel A Giant Step In Scania’s Decarbonisation

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Automotive World.

This is the introductory sub-title.

“Now we are gearing up in our journey towards completely emission-free products!” This is how Scania’s Head of Purchasing Anders Williamsson sees the company’s decision to invest in and enter into a partnership with the company H2 Green Steel (H2GS).

Other points from the article include.

  • Each Scania truck contains five tonnes of steel.
  • Scania will have a close partnership with H2GS.
  • Scania will be able to get 90 % of their steel from H2GS.

H2GS will change steelmaking, when they start production in 2024.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

H2 Green Steel Plans 800 MW Hydrogen Plant In Sweden

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on montel.

The title says it all.

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

This would mean that H2 Green Steel’s electrolyser could be producing around one hundred and forty thousand tonnes of hydrogen per year or 380 tonnes per day.

What About Scunthorpe?

I very much believe that Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, would be the ideal place for hydrogen steelmaking in the UK as I outlined in Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant.

So could 800 MW of electricity be available to produce the hydrogen in the area.

Currently, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is Hornsea One with a capacity of 1218 MW, which feeds into the National Grid at Killingholme.

This Google Map shows the distance between Scunthorpe and Killingholme.

Note.

  1. Scunthorpe is in the South-West corner of the map.
  2. Killingholme is in the North-East corner of the map.

The distance is about twenty miles.

When fully developed, the Hornsea Wind Farm is planned to have a capacity of 6 GW or 6000 MW, so there should be enough renewable energy.

Could The Hydrogen Be Created Offshore?

In ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration, I wrote about combining wind turbines and electrolysers to create an offshore wind turbine, that generates hydrogen, rather than electricity.

This approach may be ideal for the later phases of the Hornsea Wind Farm.

  • Redundant gas pipes can be used to bring the hydrogen ashore.
  • Worked-out offshore gas fields can be used to store hydrogen.
  • Worked-out gas fields in the area, are already being used to store natural gas from Norway.
  • The hydrogen can be fed directly into the HumberZero hydrogen network.

But the main reason, is that some serious commentators feel it is more affordable approach in terms of capital and maintenance costs.

It is also easy to convert hydrogen back to zero-carbon electricity, if you have a handy gas-fired power station. There could be as many of three of these at Keadby.

Conclusion

It’s all coming together on Humberside.

Anything the Swedes can do, we can do better!

March 1, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on renews.biz.

This is the two introductory paragraphs.

A new industrial initiative, backed by EIT InnoEnergy, will build the world’s first large-scale steel production plant powered by green hydrogen, in north Sweden.

The H2 Green Steel industrial initiative, which will mobilise €2.5bn of investment, aims to deliver a project that will create a new green steel producer from inception.

These further points are made.

  • There will be downstream steel products manufacture.
  • The initiative will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Production could start in 2024.
  • Up to five million tonnes of steel could be produced by 2030.

The plant will be built in the Boden-Lulea area of Northern Sweden.

Note.

  1. Boden is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Lulea is in the South-East corner of the map.

H2 Green Steel has a web site, which explains more.

What About Scunthorpe?

Surely, the obvious location for green steel production plant in the UK would be Scunthorpe.

  • The HumberZero network can bring in hydrogen and take away any carbon dioxide.
  • The steelworks makes world-class products like railway rails.
  • It is a massive site.
  • The site has good rail access.

But there don’t seem to be any plans for hydrogen steelmaking at Scunthorpe.

Conclusion

I hope we’ve not missed the boat for hydrogen steelmaking.

  • We’ve certainly got the sites, the renewable energy and the hydrogen technology.
  • On the other hand, I can remember sensible arguments for lots of much smaller steel plants from fifty years ago, as an alternative to nationalisation of the steel industry by the Wilson Government in 1967.
  • I can also remember proposals for nuclear steelmaking.

I just wonder, if a design of hydrogen steelmaking plant could be developed, perhaps even using a small modular nuclear reactor to generate the hydrogen.

If we are going to have a steel industry in the future, we must do something radical.

February 27, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sweden’s Grand Plan To Make Zero-Carbon Steel

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on theTelegraph.

It adds a lot of colour and background to Sweden’s plan to make zero-carbon stell using a process called HYBRIT, that I wrote about in Funding Award to Supply An 8MW Electrolyser and is illustrated in this infographic.

The amount of hydrogen needed is large as this paragraph from the Telegraph article says.

HYBRIT’s demonstration plant, for which an investment decision is due in 2022, will require 400MW of power just for the electrolysers to make the hydrogen. Sweden’s largest existing wind farm, Björkhöjden, produces just 288MW. Then to store the hydrogen, Vattenfall plans to build 120,000 m3 of lined underground storage, enough to store 100GWh worth of the gas.

Will they procure the electrolysers from the UK’s experts in the field; iTM Power? This innovative company is building the world’s largest electrolyser factory in Rotherham, which will be able to produce a GW of electrolysers in a year.

Conclusion

This well-written article in the Telegraph explains a lot about steel produced using hydrogen instead of coal.

Sweden has a lot of advantages at Lulea to create steel.

  • The iron ore is mined locally.
  • Sweden has ninety percent of Europe’s iron ore.
  • Ships can sail to Lulea, which is at the top of the Baltic.
  • There is gigawatts of zero-carbon electricity from the River Lule.
  • They can build wind farms in the area, which has a low population.

It does look that they might export the iron ore as sponge iron, which can then be processed directly into steel products using electric arc furnaces.

 

December 29, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 1 Comment